CUT #19 Finals - Vishgraz vs. Prava & Ich-Tekik

Travis Stanley • March 3, 2023

Vishgraz, the Doomhive | Illustrated by Andrew Mar
Prava of the Steel Legion | Illustrated by Matt Stewart
Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer | Illustrated by Aleksi Briclot

It's been over two weeks since Phyrexia: All Will Be One has been officially released, and it has definitely made an impact. Cards like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, and Mondrak, Glory Dominus have made their way into dozens of decks across the format because of just how silly powerful they are. The namesake of the set, All Will Be One, has become a personal favourite of mine as it is very powerful with a whole slew of strategies: +1/+1 counters, superfriends, charge counters, energy, you name it! It's found a home in my Magus Lucea Kane deck; with all of the X spells and Hydras running around, it will do lots of damage I'm sure of it.

But you didn't come here to hear about the set, you came here to see who made it to the finals! Let's take a look at the polls!

Congratulations to Robyn and Kenneth! Looks like Solphim, Mayhem Dominus and Ezuri, Stalker of Spheres really put in the work and got both of you to the finals! A huge thank you to Nareas (Tom) for being on and participating in this round of CUT, it was a pleasure having you on and I really do hope to see you again! Go and check out Nareas over on his Twitch, Twitter, or Instagram!

Now to the challenges!

The challenges our finalists had to face this round were:

  • Max 14 rares/mythics (including commander)
  • 10 creatures must be Phyrexian (have the type Phyrexian)
  • Must play 5 planeswalkers
  • Commander must be from the Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander decks

Looks like they had their work CUT out for them; I wonder how they handled it.

First up, we have Kenneth! Let's see what he has lined up for us!


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The last round was a tough one, and this one seems to be even more difficult. With the limited amount of commanders I could possibly choose, the archetype selection was also very slim.

After thinking for a long time, I chose to go with Vishgraz, the Doomhive as my commander and to take advantage of him coming accompanied by three little friends.

Abzan provides me with a few different avenues that I can play with, the first of which is a token strategy that's greatly helped with Mondrak, Glory Dominus and Doubling Season. Get both of them out at once, then have Vishgraz come down, and you've got a bakers' dozen allies.

Seeing as I plan on having a wide board with the token strategy, my plan B fell in line with an aristocrats-style deck. I have all the usual pieces, like Zulaport Cutthroat and Blood Artist, both of which, when paired with Ashnod's Altar and Viscera Seer, will whittle down my opponents' health a little by little. I'm also running the "Soul Sisters to keep myself topped up in the event that my opponents start turning their attention towards me.

For my planeswalkers I had to include, I chose Liliana, Dreadhorde General and Nissa, Ascended Animist, as by coming down on-curve, they have the ability to just win games out of nowhere. The Eternal Wanderer flickers Vishgraz to reset his buddies and creates tokens of her own while giving us a reusable board wipe. The Wanderer is definitely my favourite Planeswalker in the deck, she is just so powerful when she enters and is hard to remove.

Another card that compliments the go wide strategy is Starlight Spectacular. This card is one of my favorites from Unfinity that can pump your creatures to incredible levels. This deck can go toe-to-toe with other decks that aim to go wide, though, this deck does get tripped up by large amounts of graveyard hate.

Here's to hoping that Ixhel's creation is enough to quash the competition and earn mother's praise.

Thanks, Kenneth! Hopefully the creation of Ixhel, Vishgraz, can compleat your victory run!

Presenting second, we have Robyn! Robyn this time has bent the rules a little bit, for flavour reasons I'll let it slide... this time.

Prava and Ich-Tekik CUT

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Commander (2)
Enchantments (7)
Artifacts (11)
Lands (34)
Creatures (28)
Instants (8)
Sorceries (5)
Planeswalkers (5)


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The Golem Horde of New Phyrexia

Firstly, I have an admission to make: I was originally stumped by this challenge. Looking through the All For One Commander decks, I found very few legends I would want to build a deck around. Then, hidden in the Boros list, a lowly mono-white uncommon legend caught my eye: Prava of the Steel Legion. When thinking about what aspects of Phyrexia resonate with me as a player, I distinctly remember a wonderful draft of Modern Masters 3 where I managed to put together a Splicer blink deck. Through the recent errata, these creatures now all carry the Phyrexian subtype - and suddenly I have a deck concept!

Whether or not this is entirely in keeping with the rules, Prava has a sneaky little piece of text which says Partner; surely no one can begrudge giving our noble lioness a friend? For this challenge I picked another uncommon legend that is brilliantly on-theme: Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer. I think you all see where this is going, but I'll spell it out anyway: Phyrexian Golem Tribal.

The plan of this deck is to create an eventual unstoppable board of Golems, of course, but as with everything, the challenge is how we get there.

Step 1. Mana Acceleration

If there is anything that Selesnya does well, it's ramp. This is the most straightforward part of the deck, but there's a few minor things I wish to highlight. The ramp included here is about as efficient as we can make it without blowing the rare budget on true fast mana: 1 mana dorks, 2 mana rocks, and two-mana land ramp. There is a small concession to flavour, though, with Cradle Clearcutter: it's a bad mana dork, don't run it, BUT, it's a Golem, so here I'll make an exception.

Step 2. It's Token Time

I may have been slightly exaggerating when I made the claim that this deck was Golem tribal. We do have a lot of creatures that make Golem tokens, but "a lot" is relative, I guess? While there are only a few creatures out there that make our titular tokens, I've made sure to load our deck with all of those available. This is where I've added the bulk of the Phyrexian creature type as well with a slough of Splicers (thanks be to errata). On the whole, these cards, like Blade Splicer or Master Splicer, create a 3/3 on ETB and provide a minor buff to all Golems in play.

Luckily, we have a few tricks to bump the number of tokens we can generate. Here's where I raided the allotment of mythics and rares for some big token all-stars. The classics are here of course (Parallel Lives, Anointed Procession, and Panharmonicon), but they are now joined by their shiny new Phyrexian counterparts: Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines and Mondrak, Glory Dominus. These beefy new creatures are a major upgrade for any token strategy, and I'm positive that I'm not the only person to have pointed this out. Alongside these doubling effects, I've also included a few key flicker components to reuse our ETBs, such as multi-format all-star Ephemerate, Emiel the Blessed, our Unicorn friend, and a concession to the challenge rules, the uncommon Distinguished Conjurer.

Step 3: Support

The remainder of the deck is filled with a variety of cards to enhance and support our go-wide strategy. Now, Selesnya as a pairing is not really known for a wide range of draw, so I'm drawing on a few more niche pieces in order to ensure a constant supply of cards. Cards like Losheel, Clockwork Scholar and Ellyn Harbreeze, Busybody work nicely with the ETB token plan, as does a new interesting option from The Brothers' War, Symmetry Matrix, a card almost designed for a constant spam of 3/3 Golems. Elesh Norn Classic and bane of casual tables, Triumph of the Hordes, can help close out the game in a more timely fashion. Speaking of timely, Timeless Witness and similar cards can help rebuy important pieces that are dealt with by our opponents, while Witness itself works amazingly when Eternalized thanks to our token-doublers. Finally, our planeswalker suite reinforces our gameplan, with Vivien Reid and Huatli, Radiant Champion for draw, The Eternal Wanderer for flicker, and Karn, Scion of Urza because he's a Golem and it seemed fitting.

Step 4. Submitting to Phyrexia

Even with the restrictions of the challenge in place, this deck surprised me in how well it came together. This deck is able to jam out Golems fast and hard and with some decent amount of redundancy, if this is what awaits the multiverse at the hands of Norn - every plane should fear the coming of Phyrexia.

Thanks, Robyn, hope your Partner pair can generate some great Golems to grab that victory! After you've voted, make sure you go and say hi to Robyn over on twitter!

That does it for CUT #19, remember to vote for who you think deserves to win CUT #19! I know in my heart of hearts they both are winners. Make sure to follow them, and follow Commander's Herald to make sure you don't miss when the next article comes out. Make sure to vote for your favourite, and remember, if you don't love it, CUT it!

If you or a friend would like to participate in a future CUT article, email or reach out to me on twitter @chipman007!

Poll Closes: March 10, 2023